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The list of movie couplings that hopeless romantics strive to imitate is long. True love is all about passionately kissing in the rain, while being completely and utterly consumed with your significant other. Well, this is the impression that we are given by almost every movie in the romance genre. What they all seem to have in common is the simplification and fabrication of love. I don’t mean to trample on anyone’s hopes, but a relationship is far more complicated than what is depicted on screens. 

What films in the romance genre seem to depict are arbitrary ideas of what a relationship should look like—although, what is ideal is not necessarily realistic. We all have an idea of what a “perfect relationship” would look like. That type of stuff only happens in the movies. It’s a cliché but it holds true. 

Twilight

Who can forget about Bella and Edward’s cultivating and everlasting love? This film, mainly targeting a teenage audience, showcases this intense romantic connection between these two protagonists. Their love and bond with each other are unbreakable, despite the disastrous events they face. Of course, this type of love is pleasant to fathom and watch unfold, but it is also one that is emotionally and physically consuming, especially for Bella. Bella essentially changes her whole being for Edward when she leaves her old life and everyone in it behind all for love

The notion that true love must involve this uncontrollable and intense feeling of admiration for the relationship to work is anything but true. These ideas of obsession and extreme attachment to one another in a relationship are romanticized, but it is this sort of exaggerated and embellished plot line that individuals are emotionally drawn to. Bella and Edward are part of a long history of movie couples propagating the idea that a satisfying relationship means being completely consumed with each other.

The Notebook

This achingly tender story is any hopeless romantic’s favorite guilty pleasure. Noah and Allie’s realization of their love for one another after so many years of separation is moving and inspirational. His perpetual love for her solidifies her place in his heart for years until they meet again. Despite their dire circumstances, Noah does whatever it takes to get her back and patiently waits on her return to him. 

He even goes to the extent of writing her a letter every single day for an entire year. In a perfect world, this sort of love story becoming a reality would be remarkable. Showcasing such an extravagant and profuse love story, it is difficult not to want some of those fairy tale aspects to become a reality in your relationship.

Wouldn’t having a perpetual love with an all too perfect outcome despite dire circumstances be great? Absolutely, but that doesn’t dismiss the fact that these Hollywood films are messing with our perception of love, while fostering unrealistic expectations. Love is oversimplified in these films. The reality is that being in a romantic relationship takes a lot of effort from both individuals. Maintaining a love with someone through all of life’s obstacles and changes takes real strength and dedication. 

Unfortunately, life doesn’t always have an end-of-a-movie scene, where the couple happily sets off to live in this perfect world. Real life is anything but picture perfect. Nevertheless, finding this sort of love is not of concern. While watching these heartthrobs, we must keep in mind that maintaining a healthy love in a relationship will take work, dedication and perseverance through not only life’s changes but your partner’s personal changes as well. Having your relationship expectations derive from fictional romances will likely be damaging and cause dissatisfaction. 

With all that being said, I will be the first to tell anyone never to lower their expectations for anything or anyone. It’s imperative however, to be honest with yourself about the character of a person and the likelihood of an expectation being met by them. Have your best interest at heart, while you go into a relationship with a positive but realistic mindset. Make sure to continue your rom-com binge-watching without guilt—I definitely will! 


I would however advise looking for realistic lessons on love elsewhere rather than depending on fictional accounts of romance. Sometimes, you have to let go of how you think your relationship is supposed to be and accept it for what it is. Although it would be nice, a happily ever after with the love of our life is not just handed to us, but rather worked towards and is attainable if you both want it badly enough. 

For as long as I can remember, writing has been a great passion of mine, and has served as an outlet for expressing myself. It is something that brings me much comfort and joy. I am beyond excited to share my ideas with others!